"Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing, whether that nation - or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated - can long endure.
We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting place of those who have given their lives that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our power to add or to detract.
The world will very little note nor long remember what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated, here, to the unfinished work that the great task remaining before us;
that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion;
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain;
that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
(Abraham Lincoln, The War Years, II, by Carl Sanburg, page 469)